AFTER travelling abroad and experiencing the joys of coffee in South America, Kelly Pitt has launched her own watering hole.

The Socialight opened just before Christmas at the bottom of Stroud High Street with a low key affair for close-knit family and friends after five months of preparations.

“My favourite coffee is from Costa Rica and I really wanted to get it here at home so I source it from Cornwall now,” said Kelly.

“Everything else though is locally sourced and homemade.”

The open plan cafe has a fridge stocked with boutique beers and cola in vintage bottles, both from local companies.

Kelly ran the Black Books Cafe in Nelson Street, Stroud, for two years but always wanted to start her own business.

“My mum came on board with me and my sister works here. Also my brother works at the local butchers so we get our meat from there,” she said.

Boasting regular customers after their first month of trading, The Socialight attracts everyone from college students to families and business people during their lunch break.

To date Kelly has relied on the word of mouth rather than targeted marketing and says that Saturdays are “packed”.

“I just wanted somewhere for people to hang out with great coffee,” said Kelly.

The business already has a birthday party booked and Kelly is looking to open later into the evenings for special menus and relaxed music.

“There are not many places in Stroud to eat in the evening so we will definitely be open later in the summer” she said.

Kelly added that she does not have Wi-Fi as the aim is to keep the cafe sociable.

“To me it’s like a bit of the city coming to Stroud,” she added.